Before we begin, I have one quick note about the word 'sensei' and my usage of. Feifiefofum, I use the word sensei when Iruka addresses Kakashi for two reasons. One: Sensei is used for professionals in a trade and that definitely covers Kakashi. Besides, Kakashi is a teacher. And two: Iruka is irrepressibly polite. He just call him that cuz' he can.

'Teacher, Teacher, Where'd You Get Those Peepers?'

It was a lovely summer morning, the Saturday Kakashi's pride died. The birds were being bird-like, the breeze was breezing and up in the clear blue sky, the clouds were quite happily going about being cloudy. At least Kakashi's 'hard-earned' respect would have a nice, sunny funeral.

It happened in the mission room and, according to one humiliated jounin, it was all Iruka's fault.

The day started out like any other, giving no hint as to what lay ahead. At eight o' clock, team seven met on the bridge where they all took a nap while they waited for Kakashi to arrive. As always, they were able to wake up right before he arrived in order to scream their lungs out about his incessant lateness and still manage not to look like they had, in fact, just been napping instead of waiting impatiently like they were supposed to. And, as always, they bickered their way over to the academy's mission room to receive their daily assignment. Once their, Naruto glomped onto Iruka's waist, as usual, had to be pried forcibly off, as usual, and as usual, begged his former instructor for the biggest, baddest, toughest mission he had to give.

Usually, Iruka would dig around in the folder containing strictly D and C rank missions -- a folder that he had intentionally mislabeled 'Big, Bad, Super Tough Missions Strictly for Ninja of Team Seven's Level'-- and give them the least boring one he could find. But today, that was when things started to become not-so-usual. Instead of passing them another low-level assignment, Iruka handed Kakashi a manila folder with the details for a B rank mission that required the team to leave the village for a couple of days.

Kakashi stared at the folder in his grip in disbelief. What! An outside-the-village mission! On today, of all days! Didn't Iruka realize what day it was! Today was the day that the Icha Icha Paradise super special edition illustrated volume was released! Oh no, this wouldn't do at all.

Kakashi took a deep breath and lifted his gaze up to Iruka's face. As calmly as he could, given the dire situation, he said with almost no emotion coloring his voice, "I'm sorry, Iruka-sensei, but we cannot accept this mission today." He ignored the three loudly protesting genin behind him.

Iruka looked at him, surprised. "Why not?"

Kakashi considered telling the truth, but, seeing as who he was up against, that didn't seem the best idea for the moment. Instead he kept his expression blank and settled for, "They aren't ready for the responsibility." There, a nice, intelligent, responsible-adult/instructor excu-- er, answer. That ought'a work.

Unfortunately for Kakashi, Iruka, having been working with ceaselessly conniving children for the last five years --not to mention having been one of those conniving children himself--, knew an excuse, however plausible, when he heard one. "Kakashi-sensei, this is the assignment I have for you. It has to be done." Lesson one: Don't ever give an inch when dealing with troublemakers like Hatake Kakashi.

Kakashi flinched inwardly, even now, years later, a teacher's I-am-the-ultimate-authority voice still made him cringe. Oh well, so much for that attempt. On to round two. "Iruka-sensei, isn't there another, lower ranked mission they could have for today? Another day of training and I feel confident that they could tackle this one, say, tomorrow?" He didn't so much as blink when the vehement protests behind him turned into fists pounding on his back.

This time Iruka actually smirked. "Actually, Kakashi-sensei, there isn't any other C or D rank missions left for today. All the teams who came in on time scooped them up over and hour ago. I'm sorry, but nothing you say can change that fact." Lesson two: Never leave any options that could be exploited.

"What? Are you serious!" Iruka didn't miss the slight edge of desperation tinting Kakashi's voice.

"I'm sorry once again, Kakashi-sensei, but if you considered being on time every so often, maybe you could get what you want once in a while." Lesson three: Never miss the chance to suggest a change of behavior.

For a whole quarter-second Kakashi considered the notion, but just as quickly dismissed it as rubbish. What was it Iruka said? Nothing he could say would get him an in-village mission? Well, what about something he could do...? Nonono! He wouldn't do it! Icha Icha was not worth the humiliation! At that thought, Kakashi paused and shut his eyes in contemplation. Then...

"Iruka-sensei...?" Kakashi opened his visible eye.

Iruka didn't look up from the papers he had returned to filing. "What?"

"Iruka-sensei, are you absolutely sure there are no D missions left?" The eye, usually half-lidded, opened all the way.

Iruka sighed and set down his pen. "Kakashi-sensei, I told you al...ready..." Iruka trailed off, totally stunned by the sight before him when he looked up. Kakashi was leaning forward with his hands planted on the desk, right up in his face, and staring at him. With the biggest, bluest, most sparkly-shiny-shimmery adorable eye he'd ever seen in his life. And that included Naruto's patented I-want-ramen-right-now-Iruka-sensei-because-I'm-such-an-adorable-little-demon-fox-kinda-thing eyes. Iruka shivered at the cuteness. He was sure he could feel his teeth rotting away from the sugary-sweet gaze. Talk about a Super-Peeper!

"Um..." Iruka could practically feel his resolve crumble. "Uh, well..."

"Puh-leeeeeeeeaaaaassssssse?" Kakashi's eyelashes fluttered and his eye stretched even wider. He wibbled his lower lip beneath the mask for added oomph. In the background the kids howled with laughter and a small group of chuunin that had walked in just in time simply stared in awe at the most adorable fully grown man they'd ever seen.

It was the wibble that clinched it. Iruka was lost. "Well, I'm sure I can find something for you, Kakashi sensei." Iruka's Final Lesson: Do your best to build up a resistance to the Super-Peeper/Lip-Wibble Combo.

Kakashi blinked and his eye was back to it's normal, boringly flat appearance. Iruka sagged back in his chair in relief. Whew...

Meanwhile, inside his head, Kakashi was practically sobbing with humiliation. Now everyone would know what a set of doe-eyes he had! He could never get the kids to keep quiet! Oh, the horror... Imagine if Gai found out! Kakashi shuddered; he didn't even want to think about it.

Iruka rustled around in a pile of folders and numbly handed Kakashi a D rank mission for the kids. Kakashi snatched it and, without even looking at it, tossed the paper to Sasuke, who, despite clutching his ribs in laughter and practically crying with hilarity, was the calmest of the three genin.

With a last, barely heard order to complete the mission at some point during the day before the sun went down, Kakashi left the room and headed off to the bookstore, humming a funeral march and mourning the bloody death of his pride the whole way.

A/N: I suppose, now that I think about it, Sasuke was kinda Ooc… But nobody really cares, do they? Because this fic wasn't about Sasuke, was it? I thought not!